What Type of Business is Eligible for an E-2 Visa?


When a foreign national wants to invest in, open up, or extend their business into the U.S., they need an E2 Visa* to do it. Like any form of immigration, there are qualifications and requirements a person must meet, and the E2 Visa* is only available to nationals of a U.S. treaty country. 

For any investor that is a citizen of a non-treaty nation, there is a way to still apply for one, but before discussing that route, we first need to outline the key features of the visa, how to qualify, and what kind of businesses are eligible to function in the United States. 

What is the E2 Visa*?

The E2 Visa* is a nonimmigrant type of visa that is often referred to as the ‘investor visa,’ and allows for a foreign national to reside in the United States for a certain period of time for the purpose of investing in business on the territory of the E2 Visa*. The E2 Visa* is one of the most sought after by foreign nationals and investors as it gives the holder a myriad of benefits that also extends to their family, including:

  • Free education in U.S. public schools and at universities are at in-state tuition costs. 
  • E2 Visa* holders can sponsor specialized employees to work in their business
  • The visa can be renewed indefinitely so long as the business maintains operations
  • Spouses are eligible to work anywhere in the U.S.
  • E2 Visa* holders can live in the U.S. for up to 120 days without being subject to worldwide income taxation

How to Qualify for the E-2 Investor Visa

To qualify for the E2 Visa*, the investor must meet several requirements:

  • The applicant must be a citizen of a country that has a relevant treaty with the U.S.
  • The applicant should own at least 50% of a company in the US.
  • The applicant or the company they own must have made a substantial investment in a U.S. business. The investment must be enough to establish and operate a profitable business in the U.S., though there is no legal minimum. 
  • The investor must be seeking travel or temporary residency in the United States for the sole purpose of directing, developing, or overseeing the approved investment
  • The applicant must be actively engaged in commercial activities that meet the legal requirements in its state or region. It cannot exist for the sole purpose of supporting the investor as the goal of the investor visa is investment in the U.S.A.

Types of Businesses Eligible for the E2 Visa*

When the applicant is investing in a U.S. business to secure an E2 Visa*, there is no minimum amount they have to invest. Whatever amount of money the applicant decides to invest, it must be enough to ensure the investor’s financial commitment to the business’s successful operation.

The businesses that can be invested in or established in the U.S. are any businesses that are legitimate and lawful with the intention to ultimately hire U.S. workers. This allows for a wide range of businesses, but they cannot exist for the sole purpose of supporting the investor and to gain an E2 Visa*. The business types an investor may purchase or invest in range from fitness centers to home renovations and consulting companies to coffee shops. So long as they meet the criteria previously outlined. 

How to Gain the E2 Visa*

The issue some investors run into is not being a citizen of a country with the treaty with the United States. The way around this is to become a citizen of a country with that treaty, such as Grenada. Through Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment programme, an investor is able to apply for an E2 Visa* while enjoying many additional benefits that come with Grenadian citizenship. 

For more information on the advantages, Grenadian citizenship gives an investor, we strongly encourage you to read here:

Grenada Citizenship by Investment | Range Developments

We at Range Developments have helped many investors secure dual citizenship and guide them to obtaining an E2 Visa* from the United States by first investing in the Six Senses La Sagesse in Grenada. If you’re from a country that doesn’t have the appropriate treaty with the U.S., Citizenship by Investment is a faster path to securing an E2 Visa* and begin establishing a business presence in the U.S.

To get started on your journey, we encourage you to speak to one of our Citizenship by Investment consultants.

* Terms and Conditions apply. Please contact a US immigration lawyer for further information.

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